St. Petersburg Times columnist Howard Troxler is hopping mad that the Florida Legislature has voted to bring back "leadership funds", which he says are campaign slush funds operated legally and officially by the leaders of the Legislature themselves. He laments that if you are a special interest group, you simply go to the leaders of the House and the Senate and contribute to their "leadership funds."
Under the leadership of Gov. Rick Scott, Florida does seem to be moving backward at the speed of light — much like this country. How ironic is it that the Florida Legislature wants to cut everything for poor people but create "leadership funds" to help themselves? Check out an excerpt from Troxler's post "Florida Legislature Proves Once and for All That It Is For Sale," in which he literally goes off on the measure:
These are harsh words for a Sunday morning, but the occasion screams out for them. I take them from the Bible; please forgive me.
The Florida Legislature proved this past week, once and for all, that it is the utter Whore of Babylon.
It is now legal in our state to pay off the Legislature directly. Who says so? The Legislature.
This is not a joke.
This is not satire.
This is Florida — where the laws of our democracy are now openly, officially For Sale.
On Thursday afternoon, with greedy lip-smacking speed, the Legislature voted to relegalize a bygone and corrupt institution, outlawed in this state for more than two decades, known as "leadership funds."
These "leadership funds" are campaign slush funds operated legally and officially by the leaders of the Legislature themselves:
The speaker of the Florida House and his chosen successor, the "speaker designate."
The president of the Florida Senate and his successor.
The leaders of the minority party in the House and Senate.
So now, just as it was in Florida's corrupt past, if you are an interest group that wants a law passed, you simply go to the leaders of the House and Senate …
And you pay them off directly.
I feel the need to repeat: This is not a joke.
This is now the law of Florida, as of Thursday — for they tripped over themselves to make it effective immediately.
And so this is our stewardship of the great nation birthed by Washington and Jefferson and preserved by Lincoln.
This is the American legislative process once practiced by Clay and Webster.
This is what we have come to.
"Lawmakers" walking around with open gunny sacks, selling the democracy, frankly, proudly, wickedly, shamelessly, amorally.
Read more at TampaBay.com.